Guide Group Visit to Goodwood House: 15 July 2019

Goodwood House, West Sussex

The last event on our calendar for this year will be our celebration of the FETE NATIONALE. This year’s event will not follow our tradition of gathering together to dine in a restaurant but will be a group visit to Goodwood House for a tour of the elegant State Apartments and the Old House followed by afternoon tea in the magnificent Ballroom.

Goodwood House has been the home of the Dukes of Richmond for more than 300 years. The French connection comes very early in the family history as the 1st Duke of Richmond was the illegitimate son of Charles II and his french mistress Louise de Kerouaille. The house has a magnificent art collection which has been preserved and added to over the generations. There is also a priceless collection of Sevres porcelain.

Our visit to Goodwood will be on Monday, 15th July and will include the tour with the opportunity to view the valuable art collection and then we will enjoy afternoon tea together in the Ballroom. There will be an advantageous price of £20 for members and the price for guests will be £25. Members are welcome to bring guests if they wish. Transport will not be organised as the journey to Goodwood is just a short distance by car and we would meet there at 1. 30 p.m.

We hope that many of our members will be able to join us for this occasion. Reservations must be received by 24th May, so make sure you complete the booking form you have been sent and make your payment as detailed.

This week at the Godalming Baptist Church:

11 May 2019
Debussy and Ravel piano recital
Godalming, UK 
in collaboration with Les Amitiés Françaises and the Alliance Française
Emilie Capulet will be celebrating Debussy’s kaleidoscopic richness, colour and expressive palette in a recital of some of his most iconic works for solo piano, performing music inspired by the toccatas of the Baroque era, Impressionist paintings, Breton legends and Japanese prints. Her programme will include Pour le Piano, La Cathédrale Engloutie, Jardins sous la Pluie, La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin and L’Isle Joyeuse. Also on the programme will be works by his compatriot Maurice Ravel, including his Spanish-inspired and virtuosic ‘Alborada del Gracioso’ and his Pavane pour une Infante Défunte.

La révolution française – berceau de la France moderne

Catherine Greensmith

14 February 2019



La Forteresse de la Bastille avant 1789

Après une mise en contexte nécessaire pour “poser le décor” et quelques remarques historiques, la conférence s’éloigne des clichés sanglants habituels pour se concentrer sur les aspects positifs de la période: réformes législatives, éducatives, commerciales, organisation administrative, création de nouveaux systèmes, montée de la classe bourgeoise, libéralisation artistique… La conférence est illustrée d’une courte présentation Power Point.



Les Amitiés Françaises

Les Amities logo
  • Regular meetings in Godalming, Surrey
  • Membership fee  £30 a year
  • Guest attendance  £10 per meeting.
  • First meeting  free
  • Only paid-up members may attend  AGM

France – our nearest neighbour 

Two nations with a shared history – sometimes of confrontation and war, more recently as allies – but often eyeing one another with a degree of suspicion and mutual incomprehension.   A relationship not helped by what seems to be a particular difficulty in mastering each other’s language, especially the spoken word.

For almost 30 years, though, a local society, with the support of the Alliance Française de Londres, has been doing what it can to break down some of these barriers.  Founded in 1989, on the initiative of a Belgian married to an Englishman, Les Amitiés Françaises now has around 100 members with an interest in all things French.  Les Amitiés organises a monthly programme of evening talks in French, held at the Baptist Church hall in Godalming.   French art is always a popular topic, as are talks giving an insight into French history, but it is not all high culture.  Members of Les Amitiés have also had the opportunity to learn more, for example, about the very different approach to ethnic minorities which is taken across the Channel and about the rise to power of President Macron.  Its members are a mixture of native English and native French speakers who have a chance to practise chatting in French over tea or coffee before each meeting.

Of course, no society with a focus on France can ignore the French love of food and drink.  So each year Les Amitiés celebrates the Fête des Rois (Epiphany) with a dinner including the traditional galette des rois, with the person finding the hidden fève (token) being crowned king or queen.  And each July Bastille Day is celebrated with a festive evening which, given good weather, continues under the stars.

Les Amitiés is always welcoming new members and visitors to its meetings, so if you have a reasonable knowledge of French and an interest in French lifestyle and culture, why not give it a try? 

AFL - CF logo affil (2)


Les Amities logo



              Les Amitiés Françaises

is a group of people of all ages who have (or would like to have!) a reasonable knowledge of French.

Our friendly group meets regularly in Godalming enjoying presentations by experienced native French speakers on all aspects of French life.

We enjoy convivial dining occasions together and visitstoHistoric Houses and Gardens, all with a French connection. We are one of the largest and most active groups in the country with a growing membership and are linked to, and have the support of, the Alliance Française de Londres.